Gambia – Gambia citizens are heading to the polls to elect their next president. For the first time, the election will not have former dictator Yahya Jammeh appearing on the ballot. The 2016 elections removed Jammeh from power after 22 years. The Gambia is the smallest country in mainland Africa, with a population of 2.5 million.
Gambia election 2021
The Gambia election of 2021 is seen as a test of the country’s democratic transition. As voting began at 08:00 GMT, people had already formed long queues outside polling stations. This is the first election in many years where a voter can go and cast their ballot without any fear.
According to Mamadou A. Barry, a returning officer at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), nearly one million people out of a 2.5 million population are registered to vote. This time the number is higher than the 2016 election. As per the report, many voters are hoping for an improvement in their living standards. Reportedly, Gambians suffered after the economy of the country was dealt a severe blow by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yahya Jammeh lost to Adama Barrow
In 2016, Yahya Jammeh lost to Adama Barrow in the election result. During that time, Gambians were afraid to vote. After Adama Barrow’s victory, celebrations erupted in the capital, Banjul, with Gambians shouting, “We are free. We won’t be slaves of anyone.”
Reportedly, in 2015, President Jammeh declared the country the Islamic Republic. He called this a break from the country’s colonial past. Despite his departure from the Gambia in 2017, people were afraid of him. The nation continued to suffer from the effects of Jammeh’s rule. They waited for justice because of the abuses committed during that time.